This just in: reading makes you thin!

May 22, 2012

Okay, maybe not really. But check out this study which suggests that heavy reading is correlated with a lighter frame. According to Fred Pampel, a sociologist at the University of Colorado, ” interest in ideas, art, and knowledge…is associated as strongly as exercise with a lower body-mass index”. Pampel looked at survey data for people in 17 different countries and found that less intellectual activities: card playing, socializing, watching tv and shopping correlated with a higher BMI than reading and other cultural pursuits.

Naturally there are a variety of ways to interpret the data. Perhaps the intellectually inclined are better educated about nutrition, and so make healthier eating choices. Maybe snobbish culture vultures look down on the overweight, resulting in peer pressure to stay thin. Or maybe all those reps of lifting War and Peace add up. Who knows? Could book clubs become the  health clubs of the future?

Lesley W.

An Interview with David Royko

November 9, 2011

For over 30 years, famed newspaper columnist Mike Royko visited fans five days a week on page 2 of the Chicago Daily News, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Chicago Tribune.  Syndicated in over 600 newspapers nationwide, the Pulitzer Prize-winner wrote with eloquence and street-smart wit on wide-ranging topics  including civil rights, Chicago’s political machine, the Cubs, and sensitive, “quiche-eating” men.  But despite his more than 7500 columns, it wasn’t often that Royko offered readers even a passing look into his personal life.  However, fans can finally glimpse his rarely-shared private side in the new book Royko in Love: Mike’s Letters to Carol.  Edited by their son David Royko, the book collects the 114 letters a 21-year-old “Mick” wrote to his childhood sweetheart Carol Duckman from Washington’s Blaine Air Force Base in 1954.  Seductive, sarcastic, and riddled with self-doubt, the letters capture the burgeoning brilliance of the future legend as he courts his soon-to-be wife from 2000 miles away.  On Sunday, November 13th, you can hear David Royko read from Royko in Love when he visits EPL’s 1st Floor Community Meeting Room at 3 p.m.  In anticipation of his visit, we recently spoke with him via telephone about the disappearing art of letter writing, discovering his family’s “holy grail,” his Dad’s many chat room personas, and why Royko in Love makes for “dandy chick lit.”

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